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Street Photography: From Brassai to Cartier-Bresson Paperback – 30 May 2007

1.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (30 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845112237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845112233
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 1.5 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 670,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Clive Scott is Professor of European Literature, School of English and American Studies, University of East Anglia. His books include The Spoken Image: Photography and Language and Translating Baudelaire.


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Format: Paperback
I don't write reviews, but always read others' reviews, sometimes even when I have my mind made up already. I decided to write this time as the only two reviews of this book are by people who are probably not the readers the writer had in mind. This is a work of criticism, academic criticism, not unlike what one might find in any university course on literary criticism. It reflects academically on street photography as an expressive pursuit, tries to pin down what it is, and how it resembles or differs from other genres such as documentary photography or some schools of 20th century art. It assumes that the reader has some general background in criticism, even art or photographic criticism. It also helps to be familiar with the work of the most influential photographers who worked on the street (whether with reportage, documentary, or 'street' intentions).

For the intended readership, I would say this book is interesting and thought-provoking. It is also rather bold in its exclusion of the whole strand of American street photography typified by Winogrand. Some may find this omission unforgivable, but I thought this helped the author make a coherent commentary on the European approach to this genre. Students of art or photography courses doing critical coursework should find this book useful, as would street photographers, who have background in, and appetite for, critical treatment of their pursuit.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If searching for a book about an amaizing, inspiring, briliant subject that is written so boringly, you could not imagine, then look no further, because you have just found it. The author seems far more interested in showing off his knowledge of rarely used words, long sentences and utter ability to bore, rather than to tell his poor readers about some truly amazing photographers and their work.
Really wish I had not wasted my money.
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Format: Paperback
I'm sure the author, Clive Scott, has some amazing insights into Street Photography. I'm also sure his knowledge of art history is second to none. But as a writer, he utterly fails to convey his message to the poor reader.

The book is filled with incomprehensible sentences that require numerous readings to understand and so the overall message is utterly lost. The pomposity of the language is sometimes laughable. Long obscure words are used at every opportunity where simpler ones would suffice. It is a shame that his study of photography and art hasn't crossed over to writing the English language. He would do well to read The Elements of Style
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